Have you ever asked “Does this make me look big?” Why do we ask that question? Why is it that what others think weighs so heavily on us? Has anyone ever asked you that question? If so, the proper response is not “Do you mean bigger than you really are?”
Many years ago, I had a pair of pants that were trendy and cute and I thought I looked great in them. However, when I wore them to an event, and on the way home my three-year-old said, “Mommy, so-and-so said your butt looks huge in those pants,” I realized I had made a huge error in my thinking.
As soon as I got home I tossed those pants into the trash without a second thought. They never saw daylight, or my backside, again.
I wondered how could I have not known the truth about the way I looked? What blinded me? Why didn’t I ask someone I loved and trusted, “Do these pants make me look big?” And, if I did ask, why wasn’t I told, “Yes, you look humongous in those pants.” Furthermore, why wouldn’t someone who loved me speak up before the event?
There are times when we, as Christians, live in the same blindness regarding how we wear, or display our faith. Just as I did as a young, harried, distracted mom of preschoolers, we often let what is trending in our culture, and the way we think we should fit into the culture, derail our rational, spiritual thinking.
The reality is – everything about us reveals exactly how big or small we perceive God to be. Moreover, everyone around us sees this reality. We cannot hide spiritual truth. Some of us may think we can by going to church, or aligning with other Christians, or attending Bible study, or even speaking Christianese at just the right time, but we can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and we surely cannot fool God any of the time.
If our lives do not transparently and authentically reveal a close walk with God, then we are merely pretending to be godly while in fact, we are far from him (Matthew 15:8-9). Our actions and our words reveal truth: either God is very big in our lives, or he is very small. Either we revere him as the majestic God of the universe, or we insult him by trying to make him less than he is.
What does your life reveal about your relationship with God? Is God little more than a genie in a bottle that you pull out only when you are wishing for something you desperately want?
Is God your doting Grandfather, or your cool uncle – the one who always gives you the benefit of the doubt, and shows up with good presents? The one you are always so happy to see, but just as happy to kiss goodbye.
Is God your bail bondsman – you never give him a second thought until you are sitting in spiritual, physical, or mental jail and you try to make a deal with him. If he will only get you out of this one, you’ll promise whatever collateral he needs to bail you out?
Is God your drill sergeant – always barking orders that you really don’t want to carry out and see no reason for? Nevertheless, you’re afraid that if you don’t do what he says you will never get on his good side?
Is God the love of your life, the Father who disciplines you, who saved you for his good purpose, who empowers you through his Spirit, who loves you with an everlasting love, who will never leave or forsake you, and who has every resource in the universe at his disposal to work for your good (Hebrews 12) ? Do you submit to him as the Creator and sustainer of all things; the one who has condescended to love you and save you (Romans 5:8)? Do you possess any fear of God (Proverbs 2:1-8)?
Just as those pants couldn’t hide my truth, our lifestyles, actions, and words cannot hide our spiritual truth – they reveal it. If we are not striving to live holy lives, eventually someone will speak up and reality will invade our bubble of self-deception. Other people see the truth, perhaps more clearly than we realize.
When we compare ourselves to other people, we will almost always view ourselves favorably. However, the mirror that reflects reality is the Bible, and the only one we can compare ourselves to truthfully is Jesus. Is there someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth, someone whom you might ask, “Does my lifestyle make my God look big?”
Trust me, if the answer is “no,” then you must ask yourself how is it that you don’t recognize the truth? What is blinding you? Once you see the truth, are you willing to abandon the things in your life that make God look small? Are you willing to let God burst out of every little box you’ve tried to squeeze him into?
Don’t we want God to be so big in our lives that every time anyone looks at us they can’t help but see God? Don’t we want people to see that we do have a very big God, humongous in fact?
As we seek holiness over happiness in our everyday life, as we shine brilliantly and gloriously for God even in difficult circumstances, as the light of our faith penetrates a very dark world, then others will see and honor him (Matthew 5:14-16). Isn’t that our goal: to make God look big.
Will you ask someone today, “Do my life choices make God look big?” And if someone asks you, will you love them enough to be honest?
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